Pop Warner Football season off to a great start
LAHAINA — It talking to Rayleen Kama, it is clear to see that this is a woman who has one thing in mind: taking care of the keiki.
Kama recently began her first full year as president of the Lahaina Chiefs Pop Warner Football program after taking over midway through last season.
She mixes and juggles her time running a household and raising her children with running the youth football program and helping with ever-expanding Napili Canoe Club.
Things have been particularly hectic the past couple of weeks as the Chiefs kicked off their practices at the beginning of this month, and Napili — the club her children paddle with — ventured to Honolulu to race in the state regatta last weekend.
Somewhere along the line, Kama has gained outstanding organizational skills and passed them on to her staff of the Chiefs, which includes Secretary Rebecca Telliard, Treasurer Wailani Kahahane and Head Coaches Konan Kama, Ron Maielua, Kalama McEwen, Kia Neizman and Tina Nuesca.
Also playing big roles in the success and smooth running of the Chiefs program are Business Managers Daphane Filikitonga, Brenda Maielua, Ui Parks and Michelle Neizman.
The assistant coaches for the 2010 season include Asti Nuesca Wills, Anna Rosenthal and Fred Curimao with the cheer squad; Ikaika Neizman, Shaun Vierra, Lee Viela, Elia Nagasako and Chris Rosenthal for the Tiny Mites; Charles Kahunanui, Nick Webb, Al Magno, Barry Kim and Kawika Chung with the Junior Peewees; Marcel Maielua, Jaret Levi Nahooikaika, Dustin Quick and Bobby Chang on the Peewees; and Ricky Phillips, Wayne Phillips, Nahiku Phillips, Chad Santiago, Sione Koloi and Iolani Kaniho for the Midget Division team.
The Lahaina program, a member of the Maui Pop Warner Football Association, currently has upwards of 140 kids ages 5-14 registered to participate in the football and cheering activities of the organization.
“2009 was an awesome year,” stated the always upbeat Rayleen. “We did well with our finances last year, and that set us up for a good start for this year. And so far our fund-raisers for this year are working out well for us, and we’ve been recognized by the MPWFA as the top efficiency program this year. We do teri burgers at the County Fair and also sell T-shirts for fund-raisers. So, we got approval from the league to buy new uniforms, a blocking sled and have a chance to travel at the end of the season. We also got grants to get equipment from the Schutt and Bike companies.”
Kama added that the Chiefs will have three home games this year. They will play 8-10 games through the end of November, then play in the Turkey Bowl event Thanksgiving Weekend.
“Things are running smoothly this year, and we jumped out to a good start prepared with a fresh perspective. The coaches have been da bomb — always being there to help in all ways, and all getting along really well. We thank all the parents and local businesses for their help as well. We really appreciate everyone’s help,” she said.